Travel Report: Railroad Culture Park – Xiamen, China.
August 2017. One of my favourite Xiamen experiences was this simple but ingenious nature trail in the southwest of the city. Railroad Culture Park stands as a towering testament to brilliant urban planning and creative reuse, with five kilometres of landscaped gardens set around a stretch of preserved rails. Popular with ramblers, dog walkers, joggers and people simply wanting to get from A to B, I found myself instantly charmed.
This quiet café, less than a third the way down the route, is well worth a stop. The owners may not speak a word of English, but they are very accommodating. Furthermore, the resulting Latte (18 RMB) brought to my table exceeded all expectations! Perfect for watching the locals go back and forth.
Perhaps the highlight of my walk that day was this adapted tunnel under Yintai Mountain. It takes about ten minutes to pass through and there are illuminated before-and-after images of the park’s renovation project. You’ll also see a sculpted mural of China’s illustrious railway system.
The park features a number of cutesy resting points designed to look like stations. Most have wooden benches, stone armchairs, rubbish bins and maps of the walking route.
A wonderfully lethargic vibe runs right through the entire park and indeed there seems to be little to no attempt to commercialise it in any way.
There are one or two general stores along the trail and one sleepy restaurant. In fact, the whole area seemed to be Xiamen’s sittin’ doin’ nothin’ epicentre.
Railroad Culture Park, Xiamen.
It shouldn’t take longer than an hour to walk from one end of the park to the other. The trail has various access points, but it’s best to tackle it whole from its natural starting point near Dashengli bus stop. Loads of services come here, including 1, 15, 20, 122 and 135.
For more snapshots of this amazing city, check out my other travel reports from around Xiamen.
Or maybe search further afield with my zillion articles from across China.
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